According to court documents, Buckley, 22, and Lee began communicating through a social media site called “Tagged” about a week before the shooting. The site allows people to text over the Internet with a smart phone app; Lee and Buckley eventually exchanged cell phone numbers.
During the early morning hours of January 25, Buckley and Lee exchanged several text messages and phone calls, and the two decided to meet around 2 a.m. at a bus stop near 5th and Nicholson Street Northwest.
Plea documents say that while at the bus stop, Buckley shot Lee behind her left ear then took Lee’s iPhone and iPod Touch and left her purse at the scene. Lee was found dead at about 3:30 a.m.
Metropolitan Police later found Lee’s iPhone in a closet in Buckley’s home; they also found a 9mm semiautomatic handgun.
Buckley is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Russell Canan August 22.
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office is below.
District Man Pleads Guilty to Murder in Shooting of 18-Year-Old Girl in Northwest Washington Defendant and Victim Met Through a Social Media Website; Victim Killed for iPhone and iPod
WASHINGTON – Alexander Buckley, 22, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty to second-degree murder while armed for the January 25, 2013 slaying of a Maryland girl, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
The defendant entered his plea in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Russell Canan scheduled sentencing for August 22, 2013.
According to the government’s evidence, in January 2013, the defendant met the victim, 18-year-old Siohban Lee, through a social media website known as “Tagged,” which allows users to view profiles and photographs posted by other users. Tagged is available as an application to iPhone and Android phone subscribers and allows users to text one another via the Internet. Initially, the defendant and the victim communicated only through Tagged. Eventually, however, they exchanged phone numbers and began to communicate by phone.
Leading up to the early morning hours of January 25, 2013, the defendant and victim exchanged several text messages and phone calls, during which the victim agreed to meet the defendant for the very first time. The defendant provided the victim with instructions to take the bus into D.C. towards Georgia Avenue, N.W., where he would meet her. Sometime after 2:16 a.m., on January 25, 2013, the defendant met the victim in the area of 5th Street and Nicholson Street, N.W. The victim was carrying a purse, and was in possession of both her iPhone and iPod Touch.
At approximately 2:30 a.m., the defendant shot the victim one time in the left side of the head, just behind her left ear, killing her. The defendant took the victim’s iPhone and iPod Touch, and, leaving her purse behind, fled the scene. Law enforcement quickly located the defendant, who still had the phone in his possession. As a result, the defendant was arrested just hours after the murder.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of the detectives, officers, and crime scene technicians who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. He also commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Ethel Gregory and Marian Russell; Lead Paralegal Sharon Newman; and Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker. Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen recognized Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberley Nielsen, who investigated and prosecuted the case.